Land reservation systems will merge

The Forest Service awarded recreation reservation company ReserveAmerica Holdings Inc. a contract worth up to $128 million to create a single online interagency federal recreation information and reservation Web site.

ReserveAmerica already operates the National Recreation Reservation Service (NRRS), one of two existing online reservation systems for federal lands; the other, which ReserveAmerica does not run, is the National Park Service's National Park Reservation Service (NPRS).

The Forest Service gave ReserveAmerica a three-and-a-half-year performance-based contract with options to extend up to 10 years.

The combined service, which will retain the NRRS name, is scheduled to debut on www.recreation.gov later this year and is part of Recreation One-Stop, one of the federal government's 24 e-government initiatives. The contract, signed this week, also requires ReserveAmerica to operate a centralized telephone reservation system and a limited number of walk-up reservation sites.

The new Web site will offer users one-stop shopping for more than 57,000 campgrounds, cabins, parks, and tours of national sites, historic homes and caves. Interactive maps and text searches will allow customers to find which parks, forests, lakes, museums and other recreation sites managed by government agencies are located near a particular area or offer specific recreational opportunities.

Once fully integrated onto the new URL, the old Web sites will be taken down.

Agencies not participating in either of the two current online reservation systems may yet join, according to Agriculture Department officials. The Forest Service is a USDA agency. In all, five federal agencies will participate in the Recreation.gov reservation system: the Forest Service; the Army Corps of Engineers; and the Interior Department's National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation.

ReserveAmerica fields more than three million reservations a year and manages more than 150,000 campsites each year, according to a company release.

"We are proud to have the phone calls and systems supporting America's beautiful public lands," said Annette Hatch, the company's director of federal partnerships.

About the Author

David Perera is a special contributor to Defense Systems.

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